- Suit up and climb through access panel into the attic space with respirator.
- Our policy is not to have 2 people inside the attic because of weight distribution on rafters
- Look and observe all different type of rodent / squirrel / bat droppings
- Look for any piled and torn insulation used for nesting by soffit and gable areas
- Look for contaminated (urine stained) traffic runway and nesting spots in insulation
- Identify burrow holes in insulation indicating rodent nesting spots
- Look for Bird Nesting Material
- Look for any Missing Insulation
- Check Vent Gables for Damage
- Check Attic Fan Screening to see possible entry points
- Check Ridge Vent Caps and if any damaged screening
- check Gaps on top of wall below gable areas
- Listen for any Rodent of Animal Scurrying and Chatter
- Check if any Flexible Ducts are damaged, separated, or chewed through
- For Townhomes, Check for Gaps and Holes in the Adjacent Firewall separating units
- Check if any Holes are visible in the framework joints
- Check for possible Big Brown or Small Brown Bat activity
- Look for any acorns or seeds brought in by rodents or squirrels
- Locate any Live or Dead Rodents or Squirrels in the Attic
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Make sure that there is not an abandoned oil tank in the ground, particularly if you're buying an older house. An abandoned oil tank that still has oil in it will someday leak causing an environmental problem. The average cost of an oil tank contamination cleanup in New Jersey is twenty five thousand and up. The only way that one can be sure that there is not an abandoned tank is to have a tank search made with a special metal detector. The cost of the search is about two hundred to two hundred and fifty dollars. However, before you pay for the cost of a search, there are a few things you can do to investigate the matter at no cost.
3. Ask the home inspector, as a courtesy, to look for signs of an abandoned tank while conducting the home inspection. Some obvious signs would be:
(a) filler or vent lines sticking out of the ground
(b) copper oil feed lines coming through the wall of the basement
(c) an abandoned feed line where the old furnace was located.
2. Many times vacant houses have been vacant for a long time and are sold at what appears to be a great price. However, vacant houses sometimes develop some hidden problems that eliminate the savings. Some hidden problems may be:
a. Broken or leaking pipes in the wall that are not visible
b. Sheet rock or plaster damage to the walls or ceilings caused by improper heating. (If the house was not being heated and the house interior temperature dropped to the freezing point, the result can be some serious damage.)
c. Animals, such as squirrels, birds, or raccoons, have moved into the attic.
To be sure that the bargain price on a vacant house is really a bargain, we have two recommendations: First, get a good home inspection, and second, get exact repair cost of any repairs that the inspector recommends. In other words, don't guess at repairs for which there could be hidden costs.
3. A house that has been vacant for a long time (over a year) one should really try to find out why it remained vacant for so long. One should investigate the following:
a. Was the house over priced? Houses that are priced right usually sell.
b. Is it an estate sale? Most times the house can't be sold till the estate is settled.
c. Is there a structural problem?
d. Is there an environmental problem? A vacant house with a water leak is a prime candidate for mold.
e. Has there been an environmental clean up from a leaking in ground oil tank?
f. Is there a termite damage problem?
2. Check with your mortgage company and find out if you need a clear termite certification to obtain a mortgage particularly if you are buying a condo. Most condo associations will repair any termite damage, but will not give a clear termite certification required by the mortgage company. The catch 22 is that you may find yourself in a situation where you're buying a condo located on the second floor where you know there are no termites, yet the mortgage company wants a clear termite certification. If you find yourself in this position, hire a termite inspector and get the clear termite certificate.
3. Always have a house inspected for termites and always hire your own termite inspector. The seller may have a termite treatment contract and insurance policy but that doesn't mean there is no damage. It is not uncommon for a dwelling to have termite damage that has not been repaired even though there is a treatment contract and insurance policy. We also suggest that you, the buyer, read the disclosure statement to see if any termite repair work was done, and, if so, how extensive was the repair.
"Studies that just look at averages without regard to quality of construction or how the system is utilized show that the average life of a septic system is 20 years or more. This is the time period until the system becomes sufficiently clogged with organic material that it either results in effluent coming to the soil surface or backing up in the plumbing and reducing the efficiency of flow from the home. Well constructed, well maintained systems will last longer."
4. One last tip on inspections, I don't recommend that you do all your inspections on the same day all at once. Do the inspections one at a time. A full home and termite inspection may also call for a pool inspection, septic inspection, in-ground tank inspection, and others. If one of the inspections reveals a serious problem and you decide not to go ahead with the purchase, you have not yet paid for the additional inspections.
For some excellent information on septic systems, click the public educational site below.
in your Basement, Garage, Shed and Decking, and Yard
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Big brown bats are nocturnal, roosting during the day in hollow trees, beneath loose tree bark, in the crevices of rocks, or in man-made structures such as attics, barns, old buildings, eaves, and window shutters. Big brown bats navigate through the night skies by use of echolocation, producing ultrasonic sounds through the mouth or nose. They are known also to produce audible sound during flight, a click or a sound like escaping steam.
DietBig brown bats are insectivorous, eating many kinds of night-flying insects including moths,beetles, and wasps which they capture in flight. This causes the sudden, frequent changes in direction.
HibernationBig brown bats hibernate during the winter months, often in different locations from their summer roosts. Winter roosts tend to be natural subterranean locations such as caves and underground mines where temperatures remain stable; where a large majority of these bats spend the winter is still unknown. If the weather warms enough, they may awaken to seek water, and even breed.
LifecycleBig brown bats mate sporadically from November through March. After the breeding season, pregnant females separate themselves into maternity colonies. In the eastern United States, twins are commonly born sometime in June; in western North America, females give birth to only one pup each year
Like ants and some bees and wasps, which are in a separate order, Hymenoptera, termites divide labour among castes that consist of sterile male and female "workers" and "soldiers". All termite colonies have fertile males called "kings" and one or more fertile females called "queens". Termites mostly feed on dead plant material and cellulose, generally in the form of wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung. Termites are major detritivores, particularly in the subtropical andtropical regions, and their recycling of wood and plant matter is of considerable ecological importance.
Termites are among the most successful groups of insects on Earth, colonising most landmasses except for Antarctica. Their colonies range in size from a couple of hundred individuals to enormous societies with several million individuals. Termite queens have the longest lifespan of any insect in the world, with some queens living up to 50 years. Unlike ants, which undergo a complete metamorphosis, each individual termite goes through an incomplete metamorphosis that proceeds through egg, nymph and adult stages. Colonies are described as superorganismsbecause the termites form part of a self-regulating entity: the colony itself.
Termites are a delicacy in the diet of some human cultures and are used in many traditional medicines. Several hundred species are economically significant as pests that can cause serious damage to buildings, crops or plantation forests. Some species, such as the West Indian drywood termite (Cryptotermes brevis), are regarded as invasive species.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Taxonomy and phylogeny
- 3 Distribution and diversity
- 4 Description
- 5 Life cycle
- 6 Behaviour and ecology
- 7 Nests
- 8 Relationship with humans
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 References
- 12 External links
EtymologyThe infraorder name is derived from the Greek words iso (equal) and ptera (winged), which refers to the nearly equal size of the fore-wings and hind-wings. The name "termite" derives from theLatin and Late Latin word termes ("woodworm, white ant"), altered by the influence of Latin terere("to rub, wear, erode") from the earlier word tarmes. Termite nests were commonly known asterminarium or termitaria. In early English, termites were known as wood ants or white ants.The modern term was first used in 1781.
Taxonomy and phylogenyDNA analysis from 16S rRNA sequences has supported a hypothesis, originally suggested by Cleveland and colleagues in 1934, that these insects are most closely related to the wood-eating cockroaches (genus Cryptocercus, the woodroach). This earlier conclusion had been based on the similarity of the symbiotic gut flagellates in the wood-eating cockroaches to those in certain species of termites regarded as living fossils. In the 1960s additional evidence supporting that hypothesis emerged when F. A. McKittrick noted similar morphological characteristics between some termites and Cryptocercus nymphs. These similarities have led some authors to propose that termites be reclassified as a single family, Termitidae, within the order Blattodea, which contains cockroaches. Other researchers advocate the more conservative measure of retaining the termites as Termitoidae, an epifamily within the cockroach order, which preserves the classification of termites at family level and below.
fossils date to the early Cretaceous, but given the diversity of Cretaceous termites and early fossil records showing mutualism between microorganisms and these insects, it is likely that they originated at least in the Jurassic or Triassic. Further evidence of a Jurassic origin is the assumption that the extinct Fruitafossor consumed termites, judging from its morphological similarity to modern termite-eating mammals.
Claims for an earlier time period for the emergence of termites stand on controversial footing. For example, F. M. Weesner indicated that Mastotermitidae termites may go back to the Late Permian, 251 million years ago, and fossil wings that have a close resemblance to the wings of Mastotermes of the Mastotermitidae, the most primitive living termite, have been discovered in the Permian layers in Kansas. It is even possible that the first termites emerged during theCarboniferous. Termites are thought to be the descendants of the genus Cryptocercus. The folded wings of the fossil wood roach Pycnoblattina, arranged in a convex pattern between segments 1a and 2a, resemble those seen in Mastotermes, the only living insect with the same pattern. On the other hand, Krishna et al. consider that all of the Paleozoic and Triassic insects tentatively classified as termites are in fact unrelated to termites and should be excluded from the Isoptera.
Dictyoptera). There is strong evidence suggesting that termites are highly specialised wood-eating cockroaches. The cockroach genusCryptocercus shares the strongest phylogenetical similarity with termites and is considered to be a sister-group to termites. Termites and Cryptocercus share similar morphological and social features: for example, most cockroaches do not exhibit social characteristics, butCryptocercus takes care of its young and exhibits other social behaviour such as trophallaxis andallogrooming. The primitive giant northern termite (Mastotermes darwiniensis) exhibits numerous cockroach-like characteristics that are not shared with other termites, such as laying its eggs in rafts and having anal lobes on the wings. Cryptocercidae and Isoptera are united in the clade Xylophagodea.
Although termites are sometimes called "white ants", they are actually not ants. Ants belong to the family Formicidae within the order Hymenoptera. The similarity of their social structure to that of termites is attributed to convergent evolution. The oldest termite nest discovered is believed to be from the Upper Cretaceous in west Texas, where the oldest known faecal pellets were also discovered.
As of 2013, about 3,106 living and fossil termite species are recognised, classified in 12 families. The infraorder Isoptera is divided into the following clade and family groups, showing the subfamilies in their respective classification
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- Vector control aimed at mosquito eradication. Habitat change: removing stagnant water and other breeding areas; pesticides; natural predators; and trapping.
- Disease prevention, using prophylactic drugs and vaccines; and preventing mosquito bites, with insecticides, nets and repellents.
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